Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm responsible for a W2003 server. I'm trying to switch on terminal services. When I do so I get a message that includes the text :

"If you continue with this installation, programs that are already installed on your server will no longer work and will have to be reinstalled"

Surely that doesn't mean what it appears to mean ?

I just want one extra person to be able to access the machine in the same way that currently two administrators do (via "Remote Administration") only I want all three to be able to do simultaneously. When I bought the extra TS license I thought I was just buying the right to have one extra user. Is doing this really going to trash everything on the machine ?

share|improve this question

migrated from Feb 27 '10 at 8:01

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

FYI - StackOverflow is for programming questions, not IT questions. Please read the FAQ ( – derobert Apr 16 '09 at 23:55
A more appropriate message would go something like "If you continue with this installation some programs that are already installed MAY not work properly afterwards". – John Gardeniers Feb 27 '10 at 8:17

You don't want to install Terminal Services. The two sessions you get for any Windows box are for system administration. If you enable Terminal Services, applications that are already installed will not work right for logged on users afterward, you'll have to deal with setting up TS licensing, and a whole bunch of other issues. Terminal Services is NOT a mechanism to increase the administrative logons from 2 to any higher number - it is entirely different product meant to do different things. There's a huge amount of documentation about Terminal Services online if you want to read up on it - but you'll be opening up a whole new can of worms. (Note: TS is great if you're specifically looking to provide a group of users access to a set of apps that they don't have to install locally or if you want to provide a secure connection mechanism for a group of admins to connect from outside the firewall - it just needs to be planned out very well).

share|improve this answer

Mean to say the full text of the message is :

This option installs Terminal Server, which configures the computer to run programs for multiple simultaneous users. Note: By default only members of the local Administrators group will be able to connect to this Terminal Server. You will need to add user accounts to the local Remote Desktop Users group to allow users to connect to this Terminal Server. Do not install Terminal Server if you only need Remote Desktop for administration, which is installed by default, and may be enabled by opening the Remote tab of the System control panel applet and enabling remote connections.

Program Installation: If you continue with this installation, programs that are already installed on your server will no longer work and will have to be reinstalled. You must use Add or Remove Programs in Control Panel whenever you install programs to use on a Terminal Server.

Licensing: To continue using Terminal Server after an initial grace period of 120 days from today, you must set up a server running Terminal Server Licensing. For details see Terminal Server Help.

share|improve this answer
FYI, you should clarify your posts by editing, not by answering. Well, except you should just delete this question, as its off-topic. – derobert Apr 17 '09 at 0:06

Though its an older system but I hope it means what it says that "programs that are already installed on your server will no longer work and will have to be reinstalled..." Really mean what it says. i.e. reinstall all programs in the server regardless what they are or how they connect. no need to correct the explanation given by Microsoft.

share|improve this answer
This doesn't answer the question. – vonbrand Mar 21 '14 at 0:20

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.